Frederick George James Fisher was born in London on 28th August 1792. On 26th July 1815, Fred was sentenced to 14 years transportation to Australia for forgery.
He arrived in the colony of New South wales as a convict on the Atlas transport in 1816 and secured a ticket of leave not long afterwards. He settled on a 30-acre farm at Campbelltown south of the town, on the west of the main street, “the long straggling street” of the day, subsequently called High Street and finally Queen Street. The farm was located between the main street and Bow Bowing Creek west of the official town, and was bounded on the north by the line of Lithgow Street and on the south by a line from Allman Street. His house stood close to the site now occupied by the post office.
There Fisher prospered and acquired some substance – sufficient to be envied by Goerge Worral who rented a farm on the south of Fisher’s from William Bradbury and had a cottage, according to researches by T.D.Mutch, 14o yards south of Allman Street, the site occupied by the first Campbelltown Town Hall.
Fred obtained a property in Queen Street, Campbelltown, where he had horses. Fisher prospered on his land and had purchased himself more land located at Appin,Cabramatta and Nepean. A little known fact was that he was also the first man to attempt to make paper in New South Wales.
In 1825 Fred had a fight with William Brooker (his carpenter who worked for him, resulting in a light prison sentence. Worried about his farm, Fred gave his neighbour, George Worrall, power of attorney during his sentence to look after his farm whilst he was incarcerated. After his release in 1826, Fred Fisher disappeared. George Worrell (another ex-convict) claimed that Fisher had returned to England, leaving him in arge of Fisher’s farm and general affairs. Worrall declared that Fisher had written to him to stating that he was not returning to Australia, and with this, gave his farm to Worrall.
Fisher disappeared on June 17, 1826 and three weeks later Worrall offered for sale a horse and other property of Fisher, claiming that Fisher had sailed for England leaving him to deal with the estate. He produced a receipt purporting to have been written by Fisher but people grew suspicious of him.
Four months after Fisher’s disappearance, respectable local farmer John Farley ran into a local pub (long demolished) claiming to have seen the ghost of Fisher sitting on a rail of a nearby bridge pointing at a paddock beyond the creek bank.
End October 1826, two young boys walked across Fisher’s farm on their way home and saw bloodstains on a fence, a lock of hair and a tooth. The police searched the area and called an aboriginal tracker named Gilbert and his colleague Namut from Liverpool to assist them. Gilbert tested the puddles of water in the area and stated ‘white fellow’s fat here!’ Fred Fisher’s remains were located in a shallow grave on George Worrall’s property.
The Sydney Gazette of September 23, 1826 carried an advertisement offering 20 pound reward for information as to the whereabouts of Fisher and the Monitor of November 3, 1826 carred the news that the discovery of a murder had been made at Campbelltown after Fisher had been missing four months. The report said that the search had continued for some time until on Tuesday, October 31 “by the aid of some black natives” the body was discovered in a field three feet below the surface of the ground. “The face was completely flattened, the head fractured….Suspicion, it is said, attaches to a man resident in the neighbourhood….” the report stated. The Sydney Gazette of February 2, 1827 announced that the trial of Worrall for the murder of Fisher at Campbelltown would be heard in the Supreme Court that morning at 11am. The paper of the following day did not have room for the full evidence of the trial but announced that Worrall was found guilty on the Friday and his execution ordered for the following Monday morning, on which day the paper printed a lengthy account of the trial.
In 1826, George Worrell was arrested, tried and hanged for Fred Fisher’s murder. Fred Fisher was buried in an unmarked grave at Campbelltown. George worrell is buried at The Rocks overlooking Sydney Harbour. Doesn’t seem fair, does it? Police reports and court records don’t mention the sighting of Fred’s ghost, as paranormal information was not permitted in a court of law.
(We are looking forward to taking you all out on a historical/investigation Ghost Tour of “Fishers Ghost” and also show you all the HAUNTED hot spots of Campbelltown) ~ Jen, Jeanette and Fiona.